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VOICE OVER: Ricky Tucci WRITTEN BY: Ty Richardson
For the hardest challenges of 2023, these games brought the pain. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today, we're counting down our picks of the roughest, toughest, cruel, grueling and challenging games of 2023! Our countdown of the hardest video games of 2023 includes “Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon” (2023), “Lies of P” (2023), “Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp” (2023), “Persona 5 Tactica” (2023), and more!
Script written by Ty Richardson Welcome to WatchMojo, and today, we’re counting down our picks of the Top 10 roughest, toughest, cruel, grueling and challenging games of 2023!

#10: “Baldur's Gate 3” (2023)

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Just how hard is “Baldur’s Gate 3”? Well, in all honesty, it depends on personal experience. If you have a history in tabletop RPG, “Dungeons & Dragons”, or complex RPGs in general, you’re probably not going to struggle too much. Now, if you’re someone who has little to no experience with this, you’re probably thinking you’ll jump in and treat this like a tactics game. Wrong approach, buddy. “Baldur’s Gate 3” does require a lot of careful planning and tactile thinking, but it is also very dependent on the kind of build you’re wanting to go for. You will need to play to your strengths in every possible situation. Don’t be a jack of all trades or go into fights thinking you’ll walk out just fine.

#9: “Lords of the Fallen” (2023)

To its credit, "Lords of the Fallen" does have a friendly welcome mat for those unfamiliar with Soulslike games. The tutorial, while lengthy, does a tremendous job at explaining its mechanics. You won't be kept in the dark from every little thing. However, the real kicker is in the random spikes of difficulty. Players have reported that some areas in the game are borderline unfair in enemy placement and attack patterns. Basically, this is a Soulslike that might make you sweat harder than what you’re used to. Some have gone on record to say it is tougher than "Elden Ring".

#8: “Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon” (2023)

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"Armored Core VI" filtered out a lot of people who dove in thinking it was going to be "Dark Souls" with mechs. No, "Armored Core" has always been a lot tougher than that! As with every game in the franchise, you are going to spend as much time in menus as you will be in missions. This is because "Armored Core" demands you fine-tune your mech to the nth degree. Should one iota be off in your stats, it can potentially cost you the mission. You will need to think carefully about what weapons you're equipping and how one measly change could affect your approach in battle.

#7: “Persona 5 Tactica” (2023)

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Tactics games like “Persona 5 Tactica” have a funny way of imposing challenge on the player. No, it isn’t going to be as insufferable as “XCOM 2’s” difficulty. However, the game still requires a lot of thinking on your part. Your team can only perform one attack, and once that’s done, they can no longer move. You’ll need to figure out a way to earn a “1 More” and use that to potentially set up and unleash a Triple Threat move. This will help you manage the hordes better and allow you to finish missions more quickly. Of course, this is all easier said than done when you’ve got some enemies that will counter upon attacking or are just super resistant to any damage.

#6: “Blasphemous 2” (2023)

Back when the first game launched in 2019, many described “Blasphemous” as “Dark Souls” if it were an action-platformer. Timing dodges and parries was noticeably more challenging than it would be in a 3D space. It was also notoriously brutal in its platforming challenges. “Blasphemous 2”, on the other hand, manages to retain the first game’s difficult nature in combat while making the platforming much more fun. It’s still a game that will test your skills in every way possible, but it no longer feels like you’ll be ramming your head into a wall.

#5: “Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp” (2023)

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For the first few hours, “Advance Wars” really isn’t all that bad. The first eight missions do a wonderful job of guiding you through the mechanics and showing you some pointers on how to claim victory across battles. Once you hit Mission Nine, that’s when the friendly face turns into a brutal menacing terror. You will enter many missions throughout your campaign where the enemy has more units on the field than you, as well as more money to build additional units. It can get pretty frustrating, especially when the turn counter starts reaching double digits.

#4: “Star Wars Jedi: Survivor” (2023)

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“Jedi: Survivor” isn’t hard because of anything super drastic. No, the reason some consider it a tough game is because of how much has been expanded upon. You have more tools at your disposal for both traversal and combat, and locations are far bigger than anything we saw in the previous game. Of course, your biggest hurdle will be the assortment of legendary bosses that wait for your arrival. Basically, there’s a lot more to keep in mind. Turns out the game was so difficult that only four percent of players stuck with the hardest difficulty while most of the playerbase wound up lowering it at some point in their playthroughs.

#3: “Pizza Tower” (2023)

Though it is heavily inspired by the more simplistic “Wario Land” series, “Pizza Tower” cranks the difficulty up a few notches. Just like Nintendo’s wacky 2D platformers starring Wario, “Pizza Tower” sees you reaching one end of the level just to turn around and rush back to the exit. And the biggest hurdle you’ll face is how most of the levels force you to go down previously inaccessible paths. This means you will not know what to expect once you knock out that pillar, so you will have to be on your toes, collect as much extra time as you can, and adapt accordingly.

#2: “Lies of P” (2023)

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You want to know just how difficult “Lies of P” truly is? Well, we suppose you could refer to it as “Bloodborne 2” but with a whole new bag of tricks. We aren't just talking about different enemies, weapons, lore, and names for items either. "Lies of P" hides tons of items that will not just bolster your weapons; they will change the way they function, too! A simple switch in handles can turn a sword from a basic three-hitter to the equivalent of a bladed warhammer. In other words, you are constantly having to readjust your strategies to an ever-changing feel of combat.

#1: “Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty” (2023)

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“Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty” is absolutely the toughest game to have come out in 2023. Whereas “Lords of the Fallen” rolls out the welcome mat to new players, “Wo Long” does the exact opposite. From the moment you spawn in, everything and everyone wants to kill you with little to no explanation. In a sense, it almost harkens back to the old days of “Demon’s Souls” and the early days of “Dark Souls”. Some folks say it's the easiest of Soulslikes, but really, your mileage will vary depending on how many of these kinds of games you’ve played before. What’s the hardest game you played in 2023? Did it make our list? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to subscribe to WatchMojo for more great videos everyday!